Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fight with Words of Kindness

Have you ever been offended? Insulted? Humiliated? Wronged? Cheated? Hurt? If your answer is no, you're lying.

We've all experienced one or more of these awkward, unpleasant feelings of pain and anguish at some point, and there are more to come. It's part of life! A normal reaction would be that of retaliation. Surely, getting back at the one who made the initial offense deserves payback, right? They deserve to feel the same pain that they put upon you. Will that take away the pain? Will revenge right the wrong?

You might be quick to answer "yes", at first, but if you take a deep breath and look at the situation from a different perspective, your answer might change.

Put yourself in the other person's shoes. Is the person who offended you having a bad day? Are they going through a bad situation at this point in their life? Are they not feeling well and they are just taking it out on you? Or, maybe you don't know the person, or don't know them well enough to know what's going on in their head. That's ok. You don't have to know to be the "bigger" person.

A technique that has proven to be successful is to retaliate with kind words, compliments, or acts of service. I'm sensing some raised eyebrows or rolling eyes right now, but I promise it works ~ on so many levels.

First, by responding to offenses, insults, or hurtful remarks with a calm voice and kind words, or even acts of service, you are taking the power away from the offender and turning the negative energy into something positive. If this result doesn't happen right away, keep at it. It will happen. It's hard at first, but once you get going, you'll find it's actually fun.

Second, your offender will eventually realize that the hurtful comments are not affecting you the way they intended. As they stumble for another method of verbal fencing, you keep finding kind words to retaliate with. Your offender will be so caught off guard, they might even stop attacking long enough to say, "Thank you." It's hard to fight against compliments.

Third, hearing your calm voice, kind words, or positive comments might make your offender realize that he/she is acting childish and that fighting words aren't necessary. You might be surprised to find that the whole mood of the situation has changed for the better.

Finally, if you find a way to serve your offender (i.e. write a kind note, give them a plate of cookies, mow their lawn, etc.), your feelings will change toward your offender. That anger or hurt inside will turn to love, or at least respect. And, chances are, it will be reciprocated. Service softens hearts ~ on both sides.

If you are still skeptical, try it. By becoming the peacemaker, your feelings start healing faster. And, you might end up with a new friend. If that's a stretch, at least you won't have any regrets about how you acted or what you said. You leave the situation with your head held high. Remember, "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Fight With Kind Words

Monday, June 20, 2011

What Inspires You?

  • A beautiful sunset at the end of a rainy day.
  • Watching my kids laugh ~ with each other, not at each other.
  • Baking, especially during the holidays.
  • Writing something and knowing that people are actually reading it.
  • The smell of apple cinnamon or vanilla spice air fresheners.
  • Hearing someone tell me "It's impossible." I love to prove them wrong, because anything is possible!
  • My husband ~ he has always been a go-getter. 
  • Knowing that nothing gets done when nothing is done.

We all have different things that inspire us just as we all have different things we are aspiring for. When we feel out of inspiration, we need to stop and take the time to utilize our senses.

If we take a minute in our busy schedules to look up and see the open sky, or feel the love of a child coming through a tight hug, or smell the spices in a batch of warm pumpkin cookies (I have a great recipe if you are craving this inspiration right now!), or hear the calming sounds of our favorite song, we just might revive the inspiration we need to get through the rest of the day.

We all have days when we become overwhelmed with exhaustion just thinking about the many things we need to get done. When we let ourselves become so overwhelmed, our inspiration goes out the window along with our energy. Daily affirmations are a good way to get out of this slump. This doesn't mean standing in front of the mirror, reciting, "I'm good enough; I'm smart enough...," like we watched on Saturday Night Live years ago. But, reminding ourselves that if we don't do something, we will accomplish nothing.

Turn to the things that inspire you. Make a list of those inspirations. Tape it to your mirror. Keep it in your wallet. Put it somewhere that you can read it if you need a little inspiration. It might not immediately change the outcome of what you are doing, but it might inspire you to keep going; to keep trying. Let your inspiration drive you to make the impossible possible.

Your inspiration might have the power to change a bad day into a good one, after all. Don't let a poor attitude, or lack of energy, or feeling sorry for yourself get the best of you. You have the power to change the outcome of your day. Pull out your list and get inspired. Take control and make something great happen today!